UPDATE: (2:57 p.m.) — The Michigan Independent Redistricting Commission is going to discuss the ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court yesterday that decided they couldn’t hold closed door meetings.
You can watch that at the top of the page.
MICRC Chairperson Rebecca Szetela will be in attendance, as well as MICRC Communications and Outreach Director Edward Woods III.
The commission is still scheduled to vote on its final redistricting maps during the last week of December.
LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled against the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission’s ability to hold closed door meetings.
The redistricting committee has ben tasked with redrawing the maps across the state after voters in the state voted to change the process in 2018.
The Supreme Court said when the voters made those changes, there were a number of checks in place to make sure there was transparency.
The commission has been under fire since they held a closed-door meeting on Oct. 27 and decided to withhold certain information that they used to develop their proposed redistricting plans. Those decisions led to action from The Detroit News, The Detroit Free Press and others.
The Supreme Court decided that the commission’s closed-session meeting violated the requirement that they conduct all business at open meetings.
“Today, we enforce two of those provisions against the Commission’s attempt to operate outside of public view,” the Michigan Supreme Court said.
The court also ruled that the commission has to turn over seven memoranda that had “supporting materials used to develop the plans,” because they concern the content of the maps and the process of how the maps were made.
The Supreme Court did say that they agree with the redistricting commission that the three remaining memoranda aren’t “supporting material.”
The Supreme Court ordered the recording of the Oct. 27 meeting and the seven memoranda to be turned over and made public.
Several groups responded to the decision, praising the court’s ruling.
“The court’s ruling upholds the will of the millions of Michiganders who voted overwhelmingly for a transparent redistricting process,” said Nancy Wang, the executive director of Voters Not Politicians, in a press release. The group was the driving force behind the creation of the commission.
The Michigan Republican Party is also celebrating the decision.
“This is a victory for all Michiganders and the second time the Michigan Supreme Court forced this commission to correct its course,” said Gustavo Portela, the group’s communications director, in another release. “Michiganders were promised transparency and this commission hasn’t delivered on that promise.”